Published: Sun, November 25, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Players vomiting from tear gas as Argentinian 'Superfinal' descends into chaos

Players vomiting from tear gas as Argentinian 'Superfinal' descends into chaos

River Plate will host Boca Juniors for the second leg of what has already proved to be a historic Copa Libertadores final on Saturday evening and neither team can afford to lose.

Boca Juniors players have been severely affected by the attack from River Plate fans. Having the desired effect, some of the players on board suffered from the ill-effects of this attack.

At the behest of CONMEBOL officials, the game was set to go ahead with a simple postponement.

The website also quoted Christian Gribaudo, Boca's secretary general, saying: "The players are all hurt, you can't play this way".

Boca's team bus came under fire as it made its way to El Monumental and several windows were smashed after fans threw objects at the vehicle. Although this decision seems a little bit optimistic, perhaps. Some said it was tear gas fired by police seeking to disperse the crowd; others that it was pepper spray from fans deliberately targeting Boca players-just as River's players had been the victims of a pepper gas attack in the tunnel when the sides last met in the Libertadores, at la Bombonera three years ago. Had River won, Boca would surely have appealed against the result and in the circumstances, it would have been hard for anybody to concentrate on the actual game.

River was given a bye into the quarterfinals and Boca was kicked out the competition.

Tevez's teammate and former Real Madrid midfielder Fernando Gago added: "I can't believe it".

A statement from Conmebol's medical commission shown on television said some players had suffered "superficial cuts" and that there was no medical reason to suspend the match.

"We were very surprised", he said.

"The team which loses will carry a cross for the rest of their life", was how Marcelo Matador Salas, the Chilean striker who used to play for River and Lazio, described it.

Following hours of uncertainty, the game was finally postponed and re-scheduled for Sunday, 8pm GMT, with the news being announced via the stadium PA system. We don't have a leg to stand on: if we have to play, we are going to play.

Trouble continued with thousands of River fans breaking through security, so many without tickets were able to force their way into the stadium. Argentine football has been shamed, tainted nearly beyond fix, and it is hard to see any improvement possible with such criminal incompetence reigning among those entrusted with the organisation and safety of the sport.

Like this: